- India-Canada Relations Strained Over Allegations of Sikh Separatist Involvement –
- Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that there was “credible” information linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia. The announcement marks a significant worsening of bilateral ties.
- In the 1980s and early 1990s, Punjab, India, experienced a violent Khalistan separatist movement, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. Today, the most outspoken supporters of this movement are mainly found among Punjabi expatriates living abroad.
- Recently, there was a tragic incident where Hardeep Singh Nijjar was fatally shot outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Nijjar had been advocating for the creation of an independent Sikh nation called Khalistan within India’s Punjab state.
- He was wanted by Indian authorities and was officially labeled as a “terrorist” in July 2020. Nijjar held a prominent position as the leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force, an organization that India has designated as a terrorist group.
- Canada is home to a significant number of people of Indian origin, totaling around 1.4 million in a country with a total population of 40 million. Among them, about 770,000 identify as Sikhs based on the 2021 census.
- Canada hosts the largest Sikh population outside of India’s Punjab state. India has expressed concerns to the Canadian government regarding the activities of Sikh hardliners within the Indian diaspora in Canada. India believes that some of these individuals are involved in efforts to rekindle insurgent movements.
- Past events, such as the 1985 bombing of an Air India aircraft by a Canada-based Khalistani separatist group, have strained relations between India and Canada. These incidents have contributed to India’s vigilance regarding Sikh-related activities in Canada.
- List of 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India By Sep 2023 –
- There are 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala, the famed Hoysala temples of Belur, Halebid, and Somananthpura in Karnataka have been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage list.
- This inclusion marks the 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in India and comes just a day after Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan also received this distinguished recognition.
- The decision to include Santiniketan in the prestigious list was made during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Saudi Arabia, reaffirming its importance on the global stage.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is exemplified by the Convention regarding the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, accepted by UNESCO in 1972.
Criteria for UNESCO World Heritage Sites-
- Human creative genius.
2. Interchange of values.
3. Testimony to cultural tradition.
4. Significance in human history.
5. Traditional human settlement.
6. Heritage associated with events of universal significance.
7. Natural phenomena or beauty.
8. Major stages of Earth’s history.
9. Significant ecological and biological processes.
10. The significant natural habitat for biodiversity.
- PM Modi inaugurates YashoBhoomi convention centre –
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked a historic moment as he unveiled Phase 1 of the India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC), aptly named ‘Yashobhoomi.’
- This state-of-the-art facility, constructed at a cost of Rs 5,400 crore, promises to redefine the landscape of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) on a global scale.
- Yashobhoomi stands as a testament to India’s commitment to world-class event hosting, boasting an expansive project area of over 8.9 lakh square metres and a built-up area exceeding 1.8 lakh square metres.
Key Features of Yashobhoomi Convention Centre-
- Comprehensive Convention Centre- The convention centre spans more than 73,000 square metres and encompasses 15 convention rooms, including the main auditorium, the grand ballroom, and 13 meeting rooms.
- Cutting-Edge Technology- Yashobhoomi sets a technological benchmark with the largest LED media facade in the country, enhancing visual experiences and communication.
- Plenary Hall- The plenary hall within the convention centre stands out with seating for approximately 6,000 guests, providing a grand setting for significant events.
- Innovative Seating- The auditorium introduces an innovative automated seating system, transforming the flat floor into an auditorium-style tiered seating arrangement, adaptable for various seating configurations.
- Grand Ballroom- The Grand Ballroom, capable of hosting around 2,500 guests, offers a splendid ambience for prestigious gatherings.
6. Connectivity- Yashobhoomi is seamlessly connected to the Delhi Airport Metro Express line, thanks to the inauguration of the ‘Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25’ metro station.